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McKINNEY (1080 KRLD) – A teen has been arrested in connection with the suicide of a McKinney High School student.

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McKinney school district officials confirm the arrest of a 17-year old that has been connected with the case of McKinney Boyd High School freshman Raymond Howell Jr.

Jordan Sharifi (Photo: Collin County Sheriff's Department)

Jordan Sharifi (Photo: Collin County Sheriff’s Department)

Raymond Howell’s body was found last week in a ditch with a self inflicted gun shot wound.

According to the McKinney Police Department, 17-year old Jordan Sharifi has been charged with tampering with evidence, theft of a firearm, and making a firearm available to a child.

According to the arrest report, Sharifi told police he had stolen a 9mm handgun from a home he had been staying at and gave it Howell as protection, because Howell had gotten into two fights at school.

Sharifi told them he found Howell lying in the ditch early Thursday morning, covered in blood, and the handgun he had given to him was underneath his body.

He then says he took the gun and threw it in a drainage tunnel.

Sharifi’s bond is set at $300,000.

Howell’s family has insisted that he was bullied at school, but school officials say they have no record of any bullying complaints.

The family is planning a rally with other parents later this week.

Dr. Rick McDaniel,  McKinney ISD Superintendent released a statement about the incident:

‘Last week our hearts were broken when we learned of the passing of McKinney Boyd High School student Raymond Howell, Jr. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and the students and staff at McKinney Boyd High School.This tragedy has impacted the students, the faculty and the entire McKinney ISD community. Having spent eight years as the principal at McKinney Boyd High School, I know firsthand how deeply this staff cares about the safety and well being of our students.

At this time, our primary focus is to provide counseling and grief support for our students and staff.

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It is equally important that I emphasize McKinney ISD’s ongoing commitment to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students.

We have defined policies and procedures related to bullying and cyber-bullying in our district, we have an anti-bullying education program in place, we post and advertise bullying/harassment reporting forms, and we encourage students to use our Tip 411 program to anonymously share incidents of bullying or other concerns with administrators and our school resource officers.

Our policies and procedures include a process for investigation and intervention in cases of reported bullying.

Often a relationship of trust between the student and a respected teacher or staff member is the most effective manner in which to report concerns.

However, in order for us to address these issues, it is critical that information regarding potential bullying be shared with staff so that they can take the appropriate steps to address the negative behavior.

Despite all of the District’s efforts, social media presents perhaps one of the greatest challenges regarding monitoring and addressing student behavior.

Monitoring social media requires a collaborative effort between students, parents and educators. Our experience and research indicates that social media is most effectively monitored by parents and families, with support from educators.

Even when adults are involved, students often have access to information that is more timely or provides a different perspective on a matter. We will continue to work to openly and effectively monitor these lines of communication.

Our hope is that the final police report will provide more conclusive evidence as to the factors contributing to this tragedy.

Our focus at this point will be to lean on each other, engage in thoughtful and careful review of the events, and provide support to those in need.

The McKinney Boyd High School staff, students, and parents are some of the most caring and loving people I have been fortunate to know, and that has never been more evident than during times like these.’

*This is a developing story. Listen to 1080 KRLD for the latest information.

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